Frick Environmental Center Concrete


Client Name: Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Delivery System: CM at Risk
SF: 15,500 sf
Cost: $13.5 million
Completion Date:
Living Building Challenge
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Concrete: 2.298 cy


PJ Dick constructed a new Environmental Center at Frick Park, a challenging project because of the Pittsburgh Park’s Conservancy’s goals to achieve the Living Building Challenge. In addition to showcasing sustainable construction, the new Environmental Center integrates innovative educational facilities, both indoor and outdoor, with a public park that is a complex ecosystem, historic landscape, and recreational property.  The 15,500-sf educational facility includes multiple/flexible indoor learning spaces, offices, resource room, reception area, public restrooms, storage and other support facilities.

The facility was constructed with 2,298 cy of concrete that was used in foundations, interior slabs, paving, a water feature and a fountain. Concrete played a major part in storm water control and reuse.

Concrete was used in the foundations, interior slabs, sidewalks, footing for a retaining wall, a pedestrian bridge, stairs in the woodland amphitheater and paving. It was also used for a foundation and weir wall for water features, which included water steps (stormwater weir) and a fountain.

Concrete was also used for mat and strip footings and for the limestone plinths, mud mats for the stone pavers, and the foundation and piers for solar panel structure.

A cast-in-place fountain served as an environmental control and art feature. The water step art feature celebrates rain and helps achieve the net zero water goals of the project. Because there were no storm sewer connections, concrete was used to convey the water to the head of a watershed. Increasing the volume of water the watershed receives in turn increased microbial grown and encouraged greater biodiversity development.


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